Women were not considered ‘persons’ within the meaning of the Solicitors Act of 1843. It sounds ludicrous but as recently as in 1913, the Court of Appeal cited this reason in agreeing with the Law Society that women should not be allowed to take the examinations to qualify as solicitors.
Bebb v the Law Society was but one of the battles in the 40 year struggle for women to gain admission to the legal profession. It was not until 1919 that the pioneers had made some headway. The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919
allowed women to practice law, and also to act on juries and as magistrates.
Join us in our countdown to the centenary of the 1919 Act. Read more on the First 100 Years timeline
to learn about how far women have come since 1919. Help us fill in the gaps in the timeline with other interesting facts or support the project to produce a new digital museum of 100 video stories that tell the story that is #legallyhers